King or Kitty?

Lion SD Safari ParkAfrican Lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, California (Dec. 2012).

Lion SD Safari ParkWhen I first saw the male lion lounging on top of an old car I felt intimidated. After all, I’d seen nature shows. I know what lions do to their prey.

As I stood on a railed, wooden platform, not much seemed to keep me and the lion separate. In actuality, animals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park often seemed to be within reach, but were always safely contained in their enclosures by obstacles such as thick glass, fencing, or ravines. Even though the lion seemed so close, I felt reassured to know that the zoo had ingeniously created unobtrusive barriers.

Lion SD Safari ParkWhile I watched, the lion did not move around much, which is expected considering African lions are inactive up to 21 hours a day. The longer I watched the passive lion, the less intimidating and cuter he became.

Lion SD Safari ParkJust like my cats at home, he groomed himself, cleaning his paws.

Lion SD Safari ParkAnd his face.

Lion SD Safari ParkHe took his time, lazily licking, paying no mind to all of his spectators.

Lion SD Safari ParkJust happily going about his restful day. But lounging atop the car wasn’t relaxing enough, apparently, because after his grooming session, he got up and moved to a nice, sunny patch of grass upon which to take a nap.

Lion SD Safari ParkWhat once was an intimidating king had become a drowsy kitty. How quickly the nature film images had flown from my mind.

At this point I wondered if the clever barriers were as much to keep the lion in as to keep out people like me (who wanted to pet the lion and scratch his belly).  Good thing the zoo keepers are smarter than both residents and visitors; surely they always know that the African King is no kitty.

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About satnavandcider

An American expat living in England, exploring the United Kingdom and Europe through five senses and a camera lens.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Animals, Photography, San Diego and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to King or Kitty?

  1. Barbara Backer-Gray says:

    Oh, I’m jealous! Those are gorgeous pictures. Not only the pictures themselves, but the fact the lion did so much. Whenever I see a lion in a zoo, it’s always asleep. There’s only so many pictures you can take of that.

  2. Robin Cook says:

    If you’d like to learn a bit about a very important biology project taking place at the Center for Bioinspiration at San Diego Zoo, we invite you to http://finallygoodnews.net/2013/01/14/listening-to-nature-at-san-diego-zoo/

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